||District Finale – Road Game
Permian Panthers at Midland Lee Rebels
Battle for the Bell: Gold to Black-N-White
Coach: Clint Hartman – 3rd season at Lee
Midland Lee went 4-1 through the non-district schedule, losing 31-24 to Abilene High in Midland the second game of the season. The Rebels began district with strong wins over Frenship (51-15) and Odessa High (42-7). They lost to Amarillo Tascosa (49-26) before rebounding and handing Midland High a 49-28 crosstown loss.
Lee made it to the Regional Semifinal Round of the state playoffs in 2017, and return 10 of those starters this season. The offense will look to skill players: running back Josh Traylor (5’8″ 185), senior receiver Sheldon Bass (6’3″ 180), and junior receiver Loic Fouonji (6’5″ 190). Traylor has already rushed for over 1,000 yards this season. Fouonji leads in receptions, followed by three-year starter Bass.
Permian will more than likely see Felix Hinojosa (6’0″ 170) taking snaps under center. The Rebels have been averaging 299 yards a game rushing, while adding another 178 through the air. The offense is averaging 477 total yards a game through the nine contests in 2018. Hinojosa has completed 62% of his passes, though he missed two games. Lee is producing an average of 40 points a game. LHS has John Thompson as kicker and his longest field goal is from only 35 yards out. He has made four out of seven attempts this season.
Defensively, Lee is stacked. Linebackers Trent Low (6’1″ 225) and Charles Gonzales (6’2″ 235) lead the team in sacks, hurries, and tackles. Another tough one is junior Michael Hinojosa (6’0″ 195). Two-way playmaker Isaiah Harvey (6’1″ 190) makes his presence known on the field at middle linebacker, but also backs up Traylor in the backfield. Tracy Mackey (6’4″ 265) has size, and surprisingly, good speed as he anchors the defensive line.
The standout in the defensive backfield is junior Karl Taylor (6’0″ 170). He has the athletic ability to be another major FBS recruit. Oscar Valadez will also factor in as a defender to pass attempts downfield. Fouonji doubles as the team’s punter and averages 37 yards a punt.
It is worth noting – the Rebel defense had all kind of issues with the flexbone triple option that Tascosa’s offense ran in the Lee district loss. There are several similarities with that offense and the one ran by the Panthers. Also, both of Lee’s losses this season have been on the home turf of Grande Communications Stadium.
There were no common non-district opponents this season between the two teams. The common 2-6A opponents Lee and Permian have played are: Odessa High, Amarillo Tascosa, Midland High, and Frenship. The Panthers won all district games, including the win in Amarillo, while the Lee Rebels lost to Tascosa in Midland.
Series Record: 39-21 (Mojo leads series. PHS won last year 42-7)
||District Home Game|
Coach: Jay Northcutt – 2nd season at Frenship
The Tigers return a lot of experience, including 14 starters, as they try to improve from last year’s winless season. Frenship went through the non-district slate winning three and losing two. They have lost all three district games – Midland Lee (51-15), Midland High (34-28 in OT), and Odessa High (56-10) so far in 2018.
Unlike most teams in 2-6A, Frenship throws twice as many times as running the ball. Quarterback Austin Phillips (6’3″ 220) is in his second season directing the spread offense. He has completed 63% of his passes. Joining him in the backfield is sophomore running back William Bayouth (5’10” 180), who has been averaging 4.5 yards a carry. Phillips also uses Bayouth as an underneath receiver.
The senior signal caller has a handful of talented receivers including: Drew Hocutt (5’11” 165), Skyler Newsome (6’4″ 205), Cooper Scott (5’10” 165), and Max Rowley (6’1″ 180). Ethan Filio (6’4″ 295) and Jack Woodward (6’3″ 300) have given Frenship the big physical blocking on the offensive line.
Linebackers Jake Gilbert (6’0″ 220) and Tristan Laughlin (5’11” 190), along with Jaden Lemons (5’9″ 175) have led the defense in tackles this year. Senior linebacker Tobi Banire (5’10” 185), DL Evan Barboza (6’1″ 235), and DL Cayson Brito (5’10” 230) lead the team in sacks, though blitzing is not a particular strength of the Tigers’ defense. Safety Christian Kiser (5’9″ 160) leads the team in interceptions with three, followed by junior DE Colton Anderson (6’0″ 185) with two. The Tigers have continued to struggle and district opponents have poured on the points three consecutive weeks now.
Cage Jones handles the punting and kicking duties. He’s made 90% of his extra points and 50% of his field goal attempts, with a 40-yarder being the longest.
Series Record: 1-3 (Frenship leads series. PHS won last year 66-14)
Click on team logo for full schedule
|District Schedule / Results
Permian 42, Odessa 10
Mid Lee 51, Frenship 15
Tascosa 36, Midland 20
Permian 32, Tascosa 25
Midland 34, Frenship 28
Mid Lee 42, Odessa 7
Permian 34, Midland 7
Tascosa 49, Mid Lee 26
Odessa 56, Frenship 10
Permian 38, Frenship 10
Tascosa 35, Odessa 21
Mid Lee 49, Midland 28
Mid Lee 43, Permian 36
Tascosa 44, Frenship 21
Midland 49, Odessa 35
||District Home Game|
Coach: Tim Anuszkiewicz – 2nd season at MHS
Midland High went 2-3 through the non-district schedule, losing to EP Pebble Hills (42-38), El Paso Franklin (63-42), and Abilene High (13-0). The Bulldogs lost their district home opener to Amarillo Tascosa (36-20), but beat Frenship in overtime (34-28).
MHS made it to the Bi-District Round of the state playoffs in 2017 with a team composed of several sophomores and juniors. The Bulldogs are hoping a year of experience will have them more competitive. The offense has quarterback Suddin Sapien (6’3″ 220) as a second year leader. He is a dual threat as a passer and ball carrier. Running backs Tim Gates (5’8″ 180) and DQ Harris (5’9″ 175) are also returning starters in the backfield. Midland returns the majority of their offensive line, as well.
The Bulldogs have been averaging 230 yards a game rushing, while adding another 185 through the air. Juniors Campbell Keithley (6’1″ 220) and Josh Lehrer (5’9″ 160) have been Sapien’s main two targets. The offense produces an average of 30 points a game. Kicker Ivan Campos has been solid adding field goals and extra points to the offensive effort for two years now.
Defensively, Midland High gives up 34 points a game. The Bulldogs have a pair of linebackers in Smith Essman (5’10” 200) and Marshall Mayfield that are the better part of the defense. Ethan Ruiz has come along as a force on the defensive line in recent weeks.
Common opponents this season have been non-district foe El Paso Franklin and 2-6A’s Amarillo Tascosa. The Bulldogs lost to both 63-42 and 36-20 respectively, while the Panthers defeated the Franklin Cougars 43-27 and the Tascosa Rebels 32-25. But, don’t kid yourself. Midland High would like nothing more than to try to pull an upset on ol’ Mojo at Ratliff.
Series Record: 47-13 (Mojo leads series. PHS won last year 35-9)